Narcissists make you feel like you’re worthless and act like they’re better than you and everyone else. They emotionally and psychologically abuse you and then pretend you’re crazy when you react like a normal human. Sound familiar?
Narcissists are manipulative, egotistical, and often cruel.
They get a feeling of superiority by making others feel inferior.
Why do narcissists often get away with their abuse?
Narcissists are experts at using emotional and psychological manipulation to get you to do what they want and to gain control over you. This makes them feel more secure, and when you become their primary source of narcissistic supply, it gives them a sort of emotional dumpster.
I came up with a little hack that has helped me whenever I felt stuck – and I still use it today.
It is so simple you probably won’t even believe me – but try to do one thing.
Yes, I know, it sounds like it’s TOO simple.
But hear me out. When I felt stuck over the years, I’d eventually permit myself to STAY stuck.
And then I’d tell myself I just had to do ONE thing – that if I wanted to, I’d be able to stop right after that one thing. (For example, if my house were messy, I’d make myself clean off just one table).
And even though I allowed myself to stop at that point, often, that was enough to keep me going – that feeling of accomplishment would push me forward to do the next task, and then the next, and so on.
Don’t worry, though. I’ve been there, and because of that, I have done my best to make it possible for you to recover with the kind of support I WISH I’d have had back then.
In other words, my team and I have you covered, no matter your budget. The following list of free and lower-cost support options might help you as you embark on your narcissistic abuse recovery journey.
You are still reeling from your experiences during narcissistic abuse in a toxic relationship.
And who could blame you?
After all, you’ve lost your sense of who you are and of what reality is all about. It’s not that you’ve lost your intelligence or your personality – it’s just that it feels kind of disjointed or disconnected from the person you are today.
Something you may not remember right now is that MOST people you meet actually really enjoy your company.
They like you as a person, and they value your contributions. You’re great at conversation and even better at making people feel worthy and seen.
That is what the narcissist has hidden from you, and it’s why you’re feeling so foggy and lost, at least in part.
Understanding Brain Fog and C-PTSD in Narcissistic Abuse Recovery
Brain fog is common for survivors of circumstances when a loved one- especially a parent-was dealing with untreated mental illness.
How can your brain feel so foggy after a relationship with a toxic person? Brain fog is a difficult and confusing experience to live through, and it is one that is poorly understood by most people.
Brain Fog is, to put it simply, the feeling of dissociation or disconnectedness often experienced during and after narcissistic abuse. It’s a symptom of C-PTSD. It is what’s happening when you’re feeling lost, like you’re not really there, or like you’re watching your life through a screen or a bubble. You might also feel stuck and unable to function like you normally would.
How can you tell you’re dealing with brain fog?
Brain fog presents itself in different ways for different people. Some feel just stuck and unable to function.
Others feel like they’re watching their lives through a movie screen or like they’re in some kind of bubble that makes them feel like they’re not really here, or like they’re separated from everyone else.
What are the effects of brain fog after narcissistic abuse?
Along with the brain fog effects listed here, there are many other issues and concerns for those of us who have or have had struggles with brain fog.
But ultimately, when you realize that you have been gaslighted for many years and wonder why your health problems are getting worse, or why you are experiencing brain fog, that is because of the trauma from the abuse. (If you think you’re being gaslighted but you’re not sure, take this free gaslighting self-assessment).
Childhood trauma and toxic families lead to C-PTSD.
There is hope… even if you have severe brain fog and other illnesses related to the disorder. (If you think you’ve got C-PTSD, take this free C-PTSD self-assessment and find out).
The brain fog that many of us experience after a narcissistic relationship is one of the many symptoms of CPTSD. Brain fog is an impairment in a person’s ability to process information, think clearly, and make good decisions.
You may feel like you’re in a mental fog or daze most days or have difficulty remembering what you were just thinking about. This can go hand-in-hand with the memory problems experienced with PTSD, especially if the abuse you experienced was not physical but psychological.
Want to learn more about brain fog and narcissistic abuse recovery?
*Disclaimer – Please note: First and foremost, If you think you may be experiencing these symptoms, you should see a doctor. The last thing anyone wants is to end up misdiagnosed and treated for something that’s not impacting their health. ALWAYS be sure to check in with a doctor first, do your research, and talk to other people before making any decisions about your treatment options.
You might call a narcissist who has found rock bottom a collapsed narcissist. In general, narcissists hit rock bottom when they are able to no longer manipulate, exploit and abuse others.
In other words, narcissist rock bottom is what happens when the narcissist finally realizes that their abusive behavior will not be tolerated any longer, that what they have done has gotten out of control, or that they’re about to lose everything.
Unfortunately, it is typically later rather than sooner. It can take many years of ongoing manipulation and abuse before they hit rock bottom. Often, it happens when their closest sources of narcissistic supply go away, whether by their own choice or otherwise.
Why do narcissists hit rock bottom?
Narcissists crave power and control like an alcoholic craves their favorite drink. Narcissists NEED to have the people around them feeling weak and unempowered – this way, they’re malleable so that they’re easily controlled.
But when these people walk away and stop doing what the narcissist wants before they’re ready for it, the narcissist’s biggest fears are realized.
A narcissist’s lack of capacity for empathy and emotional depth, paired with a desperate need to feel validated and congratulated by others, will often result in their demise.
They will do just about anything to feel significant and special – so much so that they may lie, cheat and manipulate to get their own way.
So ironically it is their desperation for significance and validation which ultimately serves as the catalyst for their narcissist rock bottom.
What scares a narcissist?
As often as a narcissist threatens, directly or indirectly, to abandon you, you’d think they were perfectly secure in their ability to remain surrounded by sources of narcissistic supply – as in, people who love, admire, and serve them as needed.
But the truth is that while abandonment is probably the most human fear one can have, narcissists aren’t immune.
In fact, if we’re being honest, they’re probably pretty normal this way.
With that being said, the difference between a narcissist’s fear of abandonment and that of the average person is that a narcissist will actively abuse and manipulate the people around them in order to control them and keep them in their place.
How do the narcissist’s fears coming true lead them to hit rock bottom?
Fear of abandonment comes to fruition when you walk away from the narcissist. Now, don’t expect them to recognize this right away – but it’ll relieve some of the tension for them initially – even just the idea that they’ll be able to openly meet new people can be a huge thrill.
At first, they will feel free and some version of happy – but then one day (maybe even the same day the relationship ends), they’ll remember something that you used to do for them, and they’ll want that back.
If your resist (and I hope you do – read this about how to avoid the hoover maneuver), the narcissist attempts to navigate their remaining relationships – often not even personal ones, they grow frustrated and angry.
What does the narcissist experience at rock bottom?
You might think that when a narcissist hits rock bottom, they will finally see the light and realize how awful they truly have been – and you’d hope they’d be SO SORRY for this abusive behavior they’ve been serving up all these years.
As amazing as that would be, it’s rarely the case. Instead:
They will probably feel like their world has been turned upside down and they have no idea how to fix it.
They may become depressed and experience symptoms of anxiety-like panic attacks or insomnia.
They may also lash out at others for no reason at all.
Whatever happens, you can expect them to be acting extremely erratic and unpredictable as they expertly play the victim.
The Narcissist’s Backup Plan
Before the narcissist knows it, you’re off living in a totally cute place that’s a little too far to just drop in. And, you’ll have the nerve to want your privacy, which won’t be tolerated if they are still part of your life.
Eventually, they begin to guilt and shame the few people who remain close to them, seemingly doing their very best to push your emotions aside. This, combined with a lack of narcissistic supply, culminates in the narcissist’s idea of actual hell.
So, the moment any source of narcissistic supply refuses to comply with their wishes or orders, the narcissist has lost control of that person and therefore has no influence over them anymore.
And that’s one of the narcissist’s OTHER biggest fears: that they’re so insignificant that no one cares what they say, do, think, or feel.
This right here is exactly what causes them to tend to need a backup ‘source of supply’ (since they can’t be alone), so they very often attempt preemptively replace a source of supply.
Unfortunately, it can be one of the most dangerous times for you. Because a narcissist who has hit rock bottom may feel as though they have nothing left to lose. They don’t even have the narcissistic supply they need to function – so their desperation can lead them to lash out.
The narcissist eventually hits rock bottom and they feel unbearable sadness, grief, or remorse because they can’t continue the way they are going anymore. In order to keep this grief or pain at bay, they will stoop to any level.
The Narcissist’s Rock Bottom Patterns
When the narcissist finally hits rock bottom, there is a predictable pattern that emerges. This pattern is so predictable that it can be used as a roadmap for how to deal with the situation.
The narcissist’s life will begin to crumble under the weight of their own lies and deceit.
This collapse may occur because of something external like losing their job or a major financial setback or some other traumatic event in their life.
It could also happen because they have become so absorbed in their own self-image that they cannot see reality any longer – they live in a world of illusion created by their own ego which is beyond their control.
As they begin to realize that they are no longer able to maintain this illusion, they become increasingly agitated, depressed, and angry until they reach a point where there is nothing left but rage at themselves for being so stupid as to believe such obvious lies about themselves as well as rage at those who duped them into believing these lies were true.
Should you support a narcissist who is at or near rock bottom?
Believe me, I get it – as an empath, you naturally want to support someone in pain, especially when it’s someone you love or loved so deeply.
But listen to me, don’t do it. Not this time. Hear me out.
As much as helping them would serve some codependent part of yourself, the narcissist is likely to cruelly reject your offers for help. This will make you feel rejected – again- and that’s going to do a real number on not only your self-esteem but also your psyche – triggering would be putting it mildly.
Personally, I don’t think you owe them any of your time or support, but if you must give it to them, try giving them space and let them know when you’re available if they want to talk about anything (without pressure!).
This affiliation is part of an effort to provide more effective and useful solutions for healing from narcissistic abuse.
Who is Dr. Judy Rosenberg?
Dr. Judy Rosenberg is the founder of the Psychological Healing Center and the Be The Cause® Mind Map System to help “Heal Human Disconnect,” the cause of most psychopathology. By helping people identify their problem and dismantle it, Dr. Judy helps her patients to paradigm shift from the problem into the solution. She completed her undergraduate work in psychology at UCLA and her graduate work at CGI (California Graduate Institute).
Dr. Judy is currently in private practice in Sherman Oaks and Beverly Hills, CA, and continues to help people with various psychological issues. You may also know her from YouTube as Dr. Judy WTF?!, as she has a weekly call-in radio show titled Dr. Judy WTF (What The Freud?!). Her focus there is on healing the “hole in the soul” that results from Human Disconnect.
She is a consultant to the media and has appeared on several television shows and is often interviewed by high-profile publications. Her recent appearances include Huffington Post, MTV, E Entertainment, KCAL News, CBS News, CNN, and Animal Planet. She has been in private practice as a clinical psychologist since 1996.
What is QueenBeeing?
QueenBeeing is an online, comprehensive Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support System created by certified life coach Angie Atkinson and continuously supported by our team of fellow survivors, certified life coaches, and mental health professionals. QueenBeeing also features a strong, vibrant, supportive community for survivors of Narcissistic Abuse that offers support in the form of support groups, counseling, coaching, and a number of courses and tools available for low or no cost.
In addition to the mission of empowering survivors of narcissistic abuse to become thrivers and to create the lives they want, QueenBeeing.com has launched a movement to spread awareness and to help survivors create change in their own families and social circles to prevent enabling and creating toxic people in this world.
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